Given the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies as an alternative payment solution, it’s no surprise that cryptos and blockchain took the center stage at the second day of Asia Gaming Summit 2018 in W Taipei.
Day 2 is dedicated to disruptive technologies and how operators in Asia can tailor innovations like cryptocurrency for online gaming. Ganapati executives Hayato Terai, co-CEO of GanaEight Coin Ltd., Taku Sawada, CEO of Ganapati Malta Ltd. and Ganapati PLC Taiwan, and LiChun Hsiao, COO of Ganapati PLC Taiwan, took the podium to discuss how blockchain can provide functionality in iGaming.
“One thing that we value the most is transparency of the games. Players always think that they are falsely played, cheated, but actually they’re not. Operators are always fair—some people lose, some people win. With the blockchain technology, players can check that some people really won, some people lost, even the unlucky ones. By doing that, operators could gain the trust that they deserve,” Terai told CalvinAyre.com.
Several weeks ago, Ganapati PLC, which specializes in immersive Japanese gaming, launched in Malta its own crypto coin, GanaEight Coin. The token offers casino chip functionality and an offline functionality, among others.
Panelists including Guilherme Cavatorta of AstroPay, Hunter Larsen of Nitrogen Sports, Joseph Chan of AsiaPay, and Kristin Low of Bitspark, navigated the current regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency and payments in general.
“People who are unbanked or do not hold an international credit card, we offer to these people local payment solutions, for example, local bank transfers and local cash payments. And for Southeast Asia, we also offer a voucher system, which is a prepaid voucher that players buy online and deposit to the operator,” said Guilherme Cavatorta, business development manager of AstroPay.
For his part, Larsen noted that although there has been a growth in adoption in the region, cryptocurrencies remain to be “a niche within a niche,” a complete fraction of iGaming in Asia.
The afternoon session is all about the Asian Affiliate model. Panelists Anthony Wu of UpstartDNA, Dov Allin of MarketingCrossMedia.Asia, and Shino Besson of Game Lounge, discussed the status of affiliate marketing in Asia, and the challenges it currently faces, especially for the iGaming sector.
“I think the first challenge is to explain that we are not multi-level marketing. A lot of Taiwanese or even in Asia, they don’t understand or have never heard of [affiliate marketing], so we tell them [that] it’s performance based, you only pay if we convert for you,” said Wu, founder and CEO of UpstartDNA.
Capping off Day 2 are two round table sessions: the first, led by Benjie Cherniak of Don Best Sports, focuses on U.S. sports products in Asia market as well as opportunities for Asian operators in the United States. Another round table session led by Lorenzo Caci of Sportradar, tackled marketing, affiliates, and data in emerging markets.